ZoneAlarm loses a sale to Kaspersky

You wouldn't think that Zone Labs ZoneAlarm would lose me as a customer after all these years. But at least for the next year they have in fact lost one of their biggest supporters. Is this because I haven't received a free license in awhile? No that isn't the reason. Is it because I no longer feel that ZoneAlarm offers the best protection? That definitely isn't the case. The reason I won't be using ZoneAlarm is do to the lack of 64 bit support for Vista. Granted Zone Labs has finally released a working product for Vista. I've not had time to fully read customers experiences with that new build. Then again the ZoneAlarm website isn't exactly offering up many details in regards to Vista support. The page that is dedicated to Vista information hasn't been updated the last time I checked. None of the product pages had updates stating Vista support when I looked the other day. Yet the latest ZoneAlarm version is supposedly Vista ready. Six months to late if you ask me.

Since I could no longer wait for Zone Labs to decide to produce a Vista ready product. I had to look at my options in regards to which company to choose to protect our computers. This decision wasn't made lightly. To be honest I'm only slightly satisfied with the choice I've made. I really wanted to use the ZoneAlarm Suite that now includes Kaspersky antivirus. In the end I went with Kaspersky antivirus with Proactive Defense enabled for my main machine which is behind a Linksys router. For our laptop I chose the Kaspersky Suite that includes what I would consider a basic firewall. Keep in mind my purchase was made before Zone Labs released a non beta version of ZoneAlarm that worked with Microsoft Vista. The beta version that was being tested was not 64 bit capable for Vista. From what I had read and had been told. A Vista 64 bit version of ZoneAlarm wasn't in the works any time soon. Protecting my machines isn't something that can wait for the time schedule of a corporation. Zone Labs took a similar approach when XP was released by Microsoft. At least with that situation compatibility mode would allow you to run ZoneAlarm effectively. This wasn't the case with Vista.

So in the end I chose to go with Kaspersky. Long time readers will know I've used Kaspersky antivirus for a number of years. Even though the ZoneAlarm Suite had it's own antivirus solution. Over the past few years Kaspersky has finally started to get the respect it deserves. The Kaspersky antivirus product has always been my top choice. For years I had hoped that Zone Labs ZoneAlarm and Kaspersky would team up. Now that they have I can't use the ZoneAlarm product. This forced me to consider a new software firewall product. My choice was the Kaspersky Suite. Personally after only using the product for a short time. I don't feel the Kaspersky firewall is as option friendly as ZoneAlarm. When the Kaspersky Suite is in learning mode it never seems to learn. I'm constantly having to make a rule to allow RSS feeds to update in IE 7. My feeling is this would be easier to allow for in ZoneAlarm. To be honest I haven't done any major security testing of the Kaspersky firewall at this point. I've had to many other things needing done. At this point I would say I miss the comfortable feel of ZoneAlarm. This could just be me needing a learning period to get more comfortable with the Kaspersky firewall product.

What I can say about both companies is that they have really done some major price drops. Currently you can get a 3 user license for the ZoneAlarm Suite for $45. Kaspersky has lowered it's price drastically over the years. This could be do to more people using the product. So the development cost are now being spread out amongst more people. Allowing for a reduction in pricing. It's nice to see that at least a few well known companies are making security affordable for the average household. Maybe one day some of those same corporations will see the value in developing products for newly released operating systems. Kaspersky was a little late out the door with a Vista compatible product. At this time though all their products will work with Vista 32 and 64 bit versions. I'm still trying to figure out why Zone Labs couldn't have done the same.

I won't be taking the time to see if the latest ZoneAlarm will in fact work with a 64 bit Vista install. I'm not going to hunt and hunt for information that will let me know one way or the other. What I have done is made my security software purchase. Maybe my choice of Kaspersky won't hurt the bottom line at Zone Labs. I'd tend to bet though that their are many others like me who got tired of waiting and made a choice to purchase security products from another vendor. To me it just doesn't make smart business sense to be losing customers in this way. Especially long time supporters. With that in mind. How smart is it to lose someone you have chosen for a special support team as a user of your product? It impedes my ability to effectively help customers with the product when I'm not in fact using it. It's not like I had a choice in the matter. I'm not going to run a PC without proper security in place.

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The article above will show you what I was using and why almost a year ago.

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